Sensex closes 68 points up, healthcare stocks zoom

Mumbai, March 5 (IANS) A benchmark index of Indian equities markets, the 30-scrip BSE Sensitive Index (Sensex), closed Thursday’s trade up 68 points or 0.23 percent.

The wider 50-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) closed the day’s trade flat, up 15.10 points or 0.17 percent at 8,937.75 points.

The Sensex of the S&P Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), which opened at 29,436.77 points, closed the day’s trade at 29,448.95 points, up 68.22 points or 0.23 percent from the previous day’s close at 29,380.73 points.

The Sensex had touched a high of 29,518.32 points and a low of 29,162.47 points in the intra-day trade.

Analyst said that the markets rebounded in the last hour after slipping into negative territory in the first half on the back of profit booking. Investors were cautious and stayed on the sidelines ahead of the long Holi weekend.

“As the market has moved high we are seeing sectoral shift towards defensive sectors like pharma and FMCG,” said Vinod Nair, head – fundamental research, Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services.

“We believe this is a short-term direction, till the time action is taken for post budget measures (important bills in budget session). Having said that confidence continues to be good with increasing momentum in mid and small cap.”

In Thursday’s trade, metal, capital goods, information technology (IT), technology, entertainment and media (TECK), oil and gas and consumer durables stocks came under heavy selling pressure.

However, healthy buying was observed in healthcare, bank, automobile, fast moving consumer goods and power sectors.

The S&P BSE metal index was down 196.46 points, capital goods index was lower by 109.70 points, IT index fell 70.06 points, TECK index declined by 39.02 points, consumer durables index slipped by 12.17 points and oil and gas index decreased by 11.64 points .

However, S&P BSE healthcare index rose 421.58 points, bank index was up 127.07 points, automobile index gained 96.23 points, FMCG index was higher by 87 points and power index increased 8.37 points.

The major Sensex gainers were: Sun Pharma, up 3.24 percent at Rs.1,037.35; Hindustan Unilever, up 2.49 percent at Rs.939; HDFC Bank, up 1.87 percent at Rs.1,085.05; Cipla, up 1.81 percent at Rs.737.85; and HDFC, up 1.75 percent at Rs.1,389.05.

The losers were: Hindalco, down 3.36 percent at Rs.147.90; Coal India, down 2.19 percent at Rs.363.95; Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), down 1.72 percent at Rs.2,696.35; Tata Steel, down 1.28 percent at Rs.343.40; and Sesa Sterlite, down 1.08 percent at Rs.210.10.

The Indian markets will remain closed Friday on account of Holi.

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